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Anthony Stokes leaves Livingstone after just THREE WEEKS due to problems with Astro Turf training pitch

ANTHONY STOKES has left Livingstone after just three weeks – due to the club’s Astro Turf training pitch.

SunSport exclusively revealed that the Irish striker, 32, was set to leave the West Lothian side.

And the Lions have now explained why they have agreed a mutual termination of Stokes’ contract in a statement on their website.

Livingston’s head of football operations David Martindale said: “Stokesy has been in training for approximately four weeks now and it’s fair to say that we both knew that there was going to be a lot of work to be done to get Anthony into top shape to play Premiership football.

“In all honesty, it’s not quite worked out in terms of the on-field ball work and intense training schedule we had put in place.

“He is struggling to adapt to training two-three hours per day on the Astro Turf surface – we all know it doesn’t and won’t suit everyone.

“Of course, Anthony knew the surface we had in place but each player adapts to that differently and you can’t know how your body will feel adapting to it until you’ve been out there and played or trained on it frequently.

“We know it isn’t for everyone and sadly, that’s been the case for Anthony.

“Whilst trying to get the player in shape, it’s been extremely frustrating for all of us, staff and player alike, that we can’t seem to get the intense training needed into the player.

“To be fair to Anthony, he has noticed this himself and he approached us with the option to terminate.

“This allows both the player and the club to explore other opportunities.

“It’s a real shame that the Livingston FC fans didn’t get to see Anthony wear the number nine shirt for Livingston on the field.

“In the short spells we did get a chance to work with him, you could certainly see the quality he possesses.”

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